HOPE

Hope

 Jesus gives hopeJesus Christ assures His people of the most notable hope that any human being could have. He is the solitary basis for the great hope that we have. For that fact, we owe Him all honor and praise and thanks.

God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18-19). That is a promise.  Jesus is our forerunner who has gone before us to open the way and assure everything is ready. Because He is raised from the dead and ascended into heaven, we know that we will be with Him. We have a strong consolation that produces encouragement. Faith that is confident leads to hope that enables us  to endure. Our hope is anchored securely on the steadfast rock, Jesus Christ. Therefore, we can hold on no matter what comes.  We must not give up. Hope is the anchor of our soul.

We will never realize our hope in this world (Rom. 8:24-25). It is yet before us. Hope is the anchor that attaches us to heaven. Do not forget the prize. God’s mercy has granted for His children a living hope (1 Pet. 1:3-5). We must keep hope alive. Hope is something that is as important to us as water to a fish. It is basic to life. Without it we cannot stay on the road and anticipate the  dream. The word most often that appears in suicide notes is hopeless. Take away our hope and the world is reduced to something between depression and despair.

Why do Christians need hope? Our world is full of disappointments. Moses spent his life with one ambition. For 40 years he led the children of Israel through the wilderness and finally comes to the climax. Leading the children of Israel into Canaan had been his life’s dream. At almost the very hour he is to lead them in, God takes him up on Mt.Nebo and lets him see the land for the first time. God had planned for Moses to take them in but, Moses will not lead them in the Promise Land. He disobeyed God (Num. 20:12).  Joshua will lead them in. I imagine that as Moses sees that land, tears well up in his eyes. He has realized his goal. He can’t wait to get down from the mountain to tell the Israelites what he saw with his own eyes. I can see his disappointment. Moses could go to heaven, but he could not lead the children of Israel into the promise land.

Hope-logoWe also need hope because we are pilgrims living in a foreign land and culture. Planet earth is not our home. Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20). This world is foreign soil. We don’t fit in. We live here but we are not citizens here. We belong to the kingdom of God. We live in a pagan culture surrounded by people who embrace a pagan philosophy and a pagan way of life.  We need hope in this kind of world.

Further, we need hope because of shattered goals, dreams, and ambitions that will never be realized here. Most everyone has bright dreams that did not come true, a hope that fails to materialize. We often look for grand days and grand accomplishment, but they never dawn on us. As a result, we shed tears of shattered dreams. The world we live in is filled with tears. We have happiness for a while, but there seems to be heartache and disappointment at every turn. The doctor gives frightening news that causes sleepless nights. Our child has left the Lord and we do not know why and don’t know what to say or do. We hear the awful words from a mate, “I don’t love you anymore. I want my freedom. I am gone.” We have our hearts broken. We live with a nightmare of a wayward teenager not knowing where they are.  Our lives crumble. Things may seem bright for a while but then some blinding disappointment comes along and robs us of our peace. Joy is stolen and replaced with hurting hearts filled sorrow. broken-heart-quotes-313_large

Many years ago in the slum of London, parents gave birth to a little boy. They were extremely poor. They only had this one child. They decided they would pour everything they had in this one child. They saved their money. They did without and lived in slums, wearing rags. They saw to it that their boy was educated to the best of their ability. He finally graduated with honors from a university in London. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and immediately received a job in one of the plants in London. When he got his first pay check he took his parents out to a little rose-covered cottage on the edge of town and said, “Mom and Dad, I want to buy this for you. You have sacrificed and done without. I have this good job and I want this to be your home. Don’t ever worry about what you will eat or how you will live. I am going to repay you.” Just a few weeks later there was a terrible explosion in that chemical plant and their son was injured and left an invalid for life. Tears of shattered dreams were shed by that mom, dad and that young man. They worked so hard and now their ambitions and goals came crashing down. We need hope because of so many shattered dreams.

don't lose hopeOur hope is where our Lord is — in heaven (Col. 1:5). Every Christian has a homing instinct for heaven. We are bound for the promise land.

 

By Rickie Jenkins

rickiej08@gmail.com